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UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
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Telephone: 412-586-9771

UPMC Media Relations

UPMC Cardiologists Using New Drug-Eluting Stent Recently FDA Approved

PITTSBURGH, April 30, 2003 Physicians at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centers Cardiovascular Institute have begun using a new drug-eluting stent to prevent reblockage of arteries following angioplasty.

Called the CYPHER Sirolimus-eluting Stent, it is the first drug-eluting stent to receive marketing approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of blocked coronary arteries.

The new stent, which is approved for the treatment of previously untreated coronary artery lesions, was developed to address the problem of in-stent reblockage, or restenosis, which occurs in as many as 15 to 30 percent of patients who receive a bare metal stent. The stent is coated with the drug sirolimus, which is slowly released into the intima, or vessel lining, to prevent scar tissue growth through the openings in the stent mesh, which frequently leads to restenosis.

The stent provides new hope for patients with challenging case histories, stated Conrad Smith, M.D., interim chief of the division of cardiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. We are pleased to provide this advanced stent therapy in our community and to be one of the first hospitals in the United States to offer this effective treatment to patients.

Results of large-scale studies involving nearly 1,400 patients worldwide show that the stent, manufactured by Cordis Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson company, reduces the incidence of restenosis by more than 90 percent over a bare metal stent.

UPMC is committed to bringing patients innovative new technologies that have a positive effect on end results, said Dr. Smith.

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